Thursday, 15 May 2014

Nikon outs entry-level 1 S2 mirrorless camera, gives J4 a US release

Nikon has updated its 2014 mirrorless camera line-up with the launch of the Nikon 1 S2, and the announcement that the previously revealed 1 J4 will be making its way to the US. Despite being the new entry-point into the 1 Series, the S2 features a 14.2 megapixel CX-format sensor, a new 135-point autofocus system, and can shoot at impressive speeds of up to 20 fps with continuous autofocus.

As the new base level Nikon 1 camera, the S2 keeps things simple, just like its S1 predecessor. It’s clearly designed for those looking to step up their photographic game from a smartphone or compact camera to an interchangeable lens camera, without things getting too complicated.

It sits under the mid-range Nikon 1 J4, the not-afraid-of-water AW1, and the the top-of-the-range V3, though shares a number of features with its bigger brothers.

As with the rest of the 1 Series, the new camera features a CX-format one-inch-type (13.1 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor. In this case, it’s of the 14.2-megapixel variety, and has been designed without an optical low-pass filter to produce sharper images. The S2 also boasts the same Expeed 4A image processing engine as the V3 and J4, for delivering high quality clean images quickly.

An ISO range of 200-12,800 suggests the camera should be capable of performing in a wide variety of lighting situations. It’s quick too, a hybrid AF system uses 135 autofocus points, of which 73 are phase-detection, to deliver fast and accurate focusing, even in low lighting conditions. The S2 is also capable of churning out 10 RAW files at 20 fps with continuous autofocus, or 60 fps with the focus fixed.

On the rear of the Nikon 1 S2 there

Measuring 101 x 60.8 x 29.4 mm (4 x 2.4 x 1.2 in) and weighing 230 g (8.1 oz), the S2 is up there with the Samsung NX mini as one of the smaller mirrorless cameras on the market. Around the back there’s a 3-inch, 460k-dot LCD monitor which is used for composing shots and video. The S2 can record video at Full HD 1080p 60 fps, but dropping the resolution allows recording in extreme slow motion at 400 fps or 1200 fps.

Unlike other 1 Series models released in 2014, there’s no built-in Wi-Fi, but the S2 is compatible with Nikon’s WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter for instant sharing. The camera will be bundled with a 1 NIKKOR 11–27.5-mm F3.5–F5.6 zoom lens, though it is obviously compatible with other Nikon 1 lenses. There’s also the option to use Nikon F-mount DSLR lenses with the optional FT1 Mount Adapter.

The Nikon 1 S2 will be available from June in black, white, red or yellow, for a price of US$450 with the kit lens. The previously announced (for some parts of the world) Nikon 1 J4 will also be getting a US release, going on sale this month for $650 with a 10-30-mm F3.5-F5.6 kit lens.

Product pages: Nikon 1 S2, Nikon 1 J4

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